Pakistan has been chosen for the regional winner of the ‘World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in recognition of its anti-tobacco campaign in the past decade.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean has announced World No Tobacco Day 2021 Award for Pakistan for its effective anti-tobacco steps albeit the country disbanded its Tobacco Control Cell and fired its head.
Former technical head of the Health Ministry’s Tobacco Control Cell (TCC) and Focal Person for WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Dr Ziauddin Islam said the award had been given to Pakistan for its efforts made during the last decade.
Moreover, nomination for individuals or organizations was asked to the WHO for the six WHO regions for their accomplishments in controlling tobacco use. However, it was already confirmed that the international award will be awarded to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on ‘World No Tobacco Day – Commit to Quit’ which will be observed on 31st May all over the world.
ICT campaign to make Islamabad tobacco free continues
The Smoke Free Islamabad model has already been recognized internationally by the secretariat of FCTC, displayed a picture of Rose and Jasmin Public Park on the title page of its annual report.
It means, the country is being acknowledged for executing the ‘M’ measures (monitoring of tobacco use policies) in the MPOWER package to the highest level.
Furthermore, prior to receiving this award, the health ministry had been fronting criticism over disbanding the TCC whereas a parliamentarian defended tobacco companies in parliamentary committee meetings.
As per the statement issued by the health ministry, the TCC is working better under the director general (health wing) since July 2020. “Pakistan has grabbed the global award after the significant work on tobacco control through policy making as the country has set a target of reducing the number of persons consuming tobacco products by up to 30 percent by 2025.” the statement said